Rise From The Ashes

Reshaping Destiny: Nathan's Journey from Darkness to Dawn

January 01, 2024 Baz Porter® Season 3 Episode 1
Rise From The Ashes
Reshaping Destiny: Nathan's Journey from Darkness to Dawn
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Ready to be inspired? We're thrilled to bring you a one-of-a-kind conversation with Nathan, a man who has turned adversity into triumph. From being let go from a job to battling prostate cancer, his journey is a testament to the immense power of the human spirit. Hear about his unique fitness venture, the Ashes Workout, a human touch to fitness explicitly designed for the actively aging. Nathan shares his transformative habits, like rising early and surrounding himself with uplifting content, that have helped him maintain a positive outlook and an indomitable spirit.

Buckle up for the second half of our discussion where we venture into the realm of continuous learning, moonshot thinking, and embracing failure. Drawing from our personal growth journeys, we reflect on the life-altering insights we've gathered from podcasts and books. Nathan shares his experiences with failure and how it set the groundwork for his future success, all captured in his book, "If You See a Turtle on a Stump, Somebody Put Him There: How to Be an Adaptive Navigator". Our conversation serves as a beacon of hope, a stark reminder that even in our darkest times, a brighter future is always within reach.

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Friends, our time together is coming to a close. Before we part ways, I sincerely thank you for joining me on this thought-provoking journey. I aim to provide perspectives and insights that spark self-reflection and positive change.

If any concepts we explored resonated with you, I kindly request that you share this episode with someone who may benefit from its message. And please, reach out anytime - I’m always eager to hear your biggest aspirations, pressing struggles, and lessons learned.

My door is open at my Denver office and digitally via my website. If you want to go deeper and transform confusion into clarity on your quest for purpose, visit http://www.ramsbybaz.com and schedule a coaching session.

This is Baz Porter signing off with immense gratitude. Stay bold, stay faithful, and know that you always have an empathetic ear and wise mind in your corner. Until next time!

Speaker 1:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another edition and another episode of Rise from the Ashes. I'm your host, Bass Porter, and in the hot seat today hot seat because he's literally in a seat. His name is Nathan and he's from Miami, and he has an incredible story. He's my special guest today and, as always, I'm going to let him introduce himself. Nathan, please tell the world who you are and what you do in the world.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so thank you for listen. Let me say thank you for the opportunity to just share some thoughts. I hope that I can actually convey the story the way that you want me to convey it. My name is Nathaniel Oliver Wilkins. I used to use that name when I was a professional a parks and recreation professional but more recently I said that I didn't really need that name. I'm really now I call myself Nate Wilkins.

Speaker 2:

I want to be more relatable to people.

Speaker 2:

I run a health, wellness and healing business called the Ashes Workout my partner and I and so what we decided to do is to take what we know about people and add a human touch to the work that we're doing, trying to touch people who are, what we say are actively aging.

Speaker 2:

Some people call them baby boomers, but what we like to think is that, across the spectrum, even if you're 30, if you just want to live a better quality of life, if you want to tap into a group of people who are going places and doing things that they want to do, then what we do is for you. So this is the idea that we're trying to convey, not across the United States, but across the world. We have a tribe that we call the Agents Workout Tribe. We say it's a mindset that we don't see ourselves as getting older, we see ourselves as getting better, and so we're linking up with those who think that way, who have a certain lifestyle that they want to live, and they want to live it the way they want to live it. So that's where we are right now in terms of the work that we're doing, and I can get into more of that, but that gives you that sort of the essence of where we are and what I'm doing right now and I couldn't choose anything else. I think it's my highest calling yet.

Speaker 1:

I love that. I like to get that. We just said that it's your highest calling. That's very inspirational. Thank you Some of our listeners they love stories of adversity and overcoming adversity. Can you share a time where you had went through significant adversity, a challenge, but in your life or your career but ultimately turned into an opportunity?

Speaker 2:

Oh my God, I don't even know where to start. I've had so many great opportunities to come back from challenges I was when we first talked. I came to this city of North Miami to run a park and recreation department and over the years I've been building up, trying to make $100,000, $150,000 a year. And so I was hired or recruited here, and when I started running the department, working with some people that I had not known before, I didn't have anybody in the city, and then a city manager who came in and had a list of people and I was on that list. So one day he called me into his office and he said that, nate, you have two choices today. He said you can resign or be terminated. My mouth dropped. I said I'm not going to pick up the gun and shoot myself. You're going to have to fire me.

Speaker 2:

He fires me and, as fate would have it, I was already working on my health and trying to learn more about and get better shape and better shape for myself. That led me to teaching classes. My body started to change. That led me into applying for a position to be a fitness director at a high-end spa. I did that for a couple of years, and then that led me from there. As I started to believe more and more, confidence is important. As I started to believe more and more myself, I said I need to do something. And I started reading more and it started to say that there was this big move toward people who were aging, longevity, baby boomers, and that's how I came up with this idea about the age-less workout. So that's an interesting story in itself. But I could go on and on.

Speaker 2:

I can tell you that in the process of going through COVID, as an example, I found out that I had prostate cancer, and anytime I don't know about your listeners or viewers, but anytime people in my world hear cancer, they think about dying. I thought I was going to die and I went to about four different doctors trying to figure out what was going on and how did I come up with this cancer at this age Incidentally, I'm 69 years young and they found out that it was something called a Gleason 6. And Gleason 6 is a slow-growing cancer and they ran all of these biopsies and different tests to find out what was going on. But one thing I would share with you when African-American men get cancer, I don't care if it's Gleason 6 or what have you.

Speaker 2:

It's a high incidence of that, and so one of the things I would share with you is that this is the time right now where we look at men's health. This is what we call Movember, so I'm really focusing in on men, but I really wanted to share that story because I think that will touch somebody out there. But I could go on and on. I hope that's useful.

Speaker 1:

No, that's very useful. Thank you very much for that, nate Success individuals successful individuals often have unique daily habits and they build on them. Habits Not so traditional, so non-traditional. Is there any habits that you personally have that set your day up for success?

Speaker 2:

Probably like anybody else that you talked to, I'm an early riser. This morning I was up at about 345. I go into my office and immediately I start to listen to some positive information and then after that I have a spiritual session where I listen to spiritual music to get me going. And then I start my writing in my dowry and from there I read a whole list of things, not necessarily affirmations, but things that I tell myself I'm this, I'm that I'm going to be here really looking at the vision, and then I start to drill down a little bit more and then the last thing that I do is I have a planner and I asked her a bunch of questions about what the day is going to look like. Who am I going to touch? What would success look like for me?

Speaker 2:

And then I leave out of here at about five or so for my first client and I'm ready to go. By the time I see that client I'm fired up and ready to go and I get that person going and then I move from there on to the next client and if I have a break then I'm walking. I'm looking for about 12 or 15,000 steps in a day's time that I can just get by myself, maybe listen to another podcast, but sometimes it's just getting my mind together and thinking about where do you want to be? Are you headed in the right direction? Just asking some questions and continuing to drill down on who I want to be, because I have a plan of who I want to be that I'm looking at. What is it going to take for me to get to where I need to be? It's not necessarily about money. It's about how do I want to present myself to the world?

Speaker 1:

I love that. One of our main concepts in life is we aspire to be people, as you said earlier. What are your influences in life? Have you been influenced by, or have you had a mentor or a few mentors that really stood out to you in your development?

Speaker 2:

So when you look at Nate Wilkins or Nathaniel Wilkins, you're looking at hundreds of people who have actually, at one point or the other, gave me something and made me who the person I am today. I think about a guy by the name of Dr Ira Hutchison. I met Ira when I was living and working in Kansas and he was an assistant director for the National Recreation Parks Association. He started an organization, tapped me on the shoulder and said do you know about the round table? And I said no. He said why don't you ask your boss if you could come to Washington DC and you learn about the round table? I go to Washington DC. All of these people who are involved at various levels of leadership, supervising different parts of Parks, recreation, conservation organizations things that I'd never seen before. When your mind is open, get a chance to get a chance to get a bigger glimpse of the world, then, if you are worthy of assault, you want those same things. So Ira introduced me to that. Not only that, but he put me in leadership positions in front of people and allowed me to do presentations and really represent the organization as their chairperson. So Ira was one of those. But you know what? I could go on and on.

Speaker 2:

I think about Terry Dobson from Kansas City, a good old boy from Texas.

Speaker 2:

Terry gave me my first job in Kansas City, missouri, as a superintendent of recreation, and Terry's idea was to give you your head and let you run with it, and Terry did that for me. He put me in place with a number of seven different divisions of three or 400 people to supervise in about five different levels of supervisors who reported to me. That was an opportunity of a lifetime for me, because that kind of pulled me into something else. And then I think about Destry Jarvis, who was the executive director of the National Recreation Parks Association, who tapped me on the shoulder to be his chief assistant for the National Recreation and Parks Association, and Destry's let me learn about association management man. I could go on and on about all these people. So we didn't get here by ourselves. And so that's. I read in a book called If you See a Turtle on a Stump, somebody put him there how to be an adaptive navigator, because I think that it's not about what you know, it's about who knows you.

Speaker 1:

I agree with that completely. Many of our listeners. They are aspiring leaders themselves and they would be so curious to know a leadership lesson that you experienced, that you've learned but also proved invaluable in your career.

Speaker 2:

One of the things that I'm learning and not necessarily as well as I would like to, but I'm learning that the creator gave us two ears and one mouthful. Reason, right, that we need to learn how to be better listeners, more intense in terms of listening and really working to understand people at a different level, not so much that we prepare ourselves when somebody's talking to us, that we're thinking about what we're going to say, but really dig into the essence of the people. What I'm learning now, and most out of the people that are around it, is one of the things I would say is that you begin to take the eye on yourself and you put it on somebody else. Right, that, really, when you do that, then you get more out of other people, and I guess that's what some people may call server leadership, but that's a lesson that I'm learning and trying to apply more and more every day.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love that lesson Sometimes very difficult, a lifelong lesson to actually learn is the point you just mentioned to listen, and there's many different aspects of listening, so I love that you're applying that daily in every way. You're showing up for your clients and for other people. Thank you. In this fast-paced world, continuous learning is obviously essential, and is there any you mentioned earlier? You listen to podcasts in the morning and books, scripture. Is there anything that really resonates with you at the moment that you would like to share with other people for informational purposes on the things that inspire yourself?

Speaker 2:

That's interesting. I am currently reading a book now and the book is about a fitness entrepreneur. It's a fitness entrepreneur handbook, so I'm getting tips out of that book. But I also am interested in what's called moonshots, and you get these big thinking ideas about how to change the world, and so there are a number of people that I'm reading and listening to Peter DeMentus, I'm listening to David Sinclair and Peter Aterra. All these people are talking about what the future looks like, particularly around healthcare and longevity. And if we can go to the moon, why can't we go to Mars and really do things to actually change the world? How can we democratize things and make things more affordable for the masses? Things are expensive now, but how do we even change healthcare, where people can live a longer and a better life? So longevity is an important piece of where I'm going and I want to share those ideas and concepts with people as I grow.

Speaker 2:

So I like to think of myself as associating with futurists.

Speaker 2:

So here's the thing that I've learned through my experiences you can tell by the five people that you associate with where you're going to be. The people that you associate with will either determine whether you make it big or you are a flop, and so what I've decided to do is not necessarily see them, like I'm doing with you, but bring them up close to me through the books that they talk about, through the podcasts that they're sharing, and anytime I get a chance to sit and be intent and listen to what they have to say, then that's where you'll find me. So those are the inspirations that I'd like to talk about. Again. I could go on and on. There's a guy by the name of Les Brown, and I'm always listening to Les Brown. Les brings a message like about how to be a speaker and how to really milk a story, and these are the things as I become a better communicator. This is what I want to be an effective communicator and working on all those things, and these folks help me become better every day at that.

Speaker 1:

I love that. It reminds me of what I was saying success leaves clues, and the pathway you're following is learned by or from people that have laid the pathway to where they have been and going, still going, because Les Brown is still going there.

Speaker 1:

And this is but you're following their advice, you're following their teachings. I love that, so thank you. Sometimes failure is viewed negatively for the world, and this had got to have given a bad rap. Has there been a time in your life that you've perceived something to be a so-called failure? But it's actually set you back or set you up for a success moving forward? I know you mentioned earlier on the perceived archetype of a termination of a job or a termination of employment, but that's set you up for what you're doing now. Is there something else that you had a failure during, a perceived failure in, but ultimately turning to a success story for yourself?

Speaker 2:

So you're really touching some things for me. I had another opportunity. I was working in Kansas City, missouri, as a superintendent of recreation. I get a call from Cincinnati, ohio, and they want me to come to Cincinnati made to be the system director of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission. I get to the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, they have us doing dual roles of female and myself, and then they said out of this we're going to determine who's going to be the new director of the department. When that time was up they ended up hiring somebody else. I got so angry and so full of myself with my ego. My friend from the National Park and Recreation Association then tapped me on the shoulder and said Nate, would you come and be my chief? And I was all puffed up. I was afraid to do it, but I said they didn't want me. So now I get another opportunity. I pack up, I move to Northern Virginia and I'm working six, eight months there and the next thing I know they come in fire the director and then within a month's time they say we are eliminating your position. I had to pack up all of my clothes. I had a big party when I left Cincinnati. I had to pack up all of my clothes and move back to Cincinnati.

Speaker 2:

I went to Cincinnati, couldn't get back to the job that I was working at. I went to work as a community organizer in a place, at an organization called the Grassroots Leadership Academy. I get there and work and the next thing I know, within another six or eight months, I get tapped on the shoulder to come to the city of North Miami. So things don't necessarily happen to you, they happen for you. I didn't really like the job that I took when I went to Northern Virginia, but I was so puffed up, my ego was so involved in it. I thought I was doing something. And out of that, let me tell you what. When you talk about tragedy, out of that, when I get terminated, when they take my job away I couldn't pay for my house I lose my house. I had to end up filing bankruptcy.

Speaker 2:

If you want to talk about some stuff, man, coming out of from the ashes, I'll give you some stories. So that's that is the reason why I wrote this book that I have. It's called. If you See a Turtle on a Stump, somebody Put in there how to Be an Adaptive Navigator man. If you don't, if you don't know that, everything's gonna be all right, that it's always darkest, even if you have it good. Just look around. Tomorrow it may be bad. So you got to learn how to take failure and use it as fertilizer. That's what I've done.

Speaker 1:

I love that. I think your story is incredible, how you you changed something happening to you to like what you've just mentioned for you. That's an incredible and higher elevated perception on situations. I love it. Thank you very much for that. Looking towards the future, nate, and all you've accomplished so far. What do you see yourself, or what would you envision yourself being in a couple of years time?

Speaker 2:

It's interesting that you asked that question.

Speaker 2:

I'm actually working on what I'm calling is my massive transportation or transformation program, and that looks like what we are doing is linking up with the medical community, with doctors and other professionals around the world, to really eliminate disparities in healthcare, economic opportunity and fairness and really building and working to build a new system.

Speaker 2:

I guess what I'm trying to say to you is that I'm looking to with the help of a number of people like you, because you've allowed me to share these thoughts on your podcast but to put a crack in the universe is to make a difference in the lives.

Speaker 2:

It's not so important for me to become something as it is for me to leave a legacy. I am trying to live the life that I want to leave, and so I'm trying to say to you and anybody that would listen is that I've been given so much and so it's not. I don't want to get to the place when I get up to if there is a creator, a man, a woman, and get there and say, ask me, what did you do with what I gave you? And I want to jump from one foot to the other, say I don't know what I did with it, I squandered it, I spent it over here. I really want to be full, I really want to be used up, and so that's why I see myself I see myself as leaving this place in a puff of smoke. How about that?

Speaker 1:

I like that a lot. I really do. That's a refreshing point of view that I haven't heard in some time. So thank you. Is there any parting words you would like to say to the audience, any programs you'd like to offer? As I said, it's a purely service of use. So please, if you've got any advice or guidance for anybody, please share.

Speaker 2:

So here's a thought that I learned to leave with people any time I get a chance. It simply says this. It says when you get what you want in your struggle for self, and the world has made you a king and queen for the day Just go to the mirror and look at yourself and see what the mirror has to say, for it isn't your father, mother, sister or brother in life whose judgment upon you must pass. The person whose verdict counts most in your life is the one staring back in the glass. You may fool the world over down through the pathways of life and get pats on the back as you pass, but your most fondest rewards will be heartaches and tears if you cheated the person in the glass. And so I'm saying to everybody live your life, live the way that you want to live, because at the end you are going to have to answer to that and point to my book.

Speaker 2:

It's on Amazon. If you see a terminal stump somebody put in there. How to be an adaptive navigator. We have a website wwwagesworkoutcom. My name is Nathaniel Wilkins. It's the age last workout in the ages workout tribe. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for spending time with us and sharing this impactful message For more of the listeners out there. Watch us. Please share this message and inspire somebody today. Thank you very much for watching. Until next time. My friends, live with purpose and inspire with legacy.

From Adversity to Success
Continuous Learning, Moonshots, and Overcoming Failure

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